10 ways to maintain muscle mass as you age

A certain amount of muscle mass is present in the human body on a genetic, sex-based hormone, and age-dependent basis. By engaging in physical activities that promote muscle growth and ingesting more calories than you expend to maintain new tissue, you may teach your body to build more muscle. In this article, we have covered the top 10 ways to maintain muscle mass as you age.

However, after you’ve added new muscle tissue, you risk losing it if you stop exercising or if you consume fewer calories than you expend. As you become older, your naturally occurring muscle mass will likewise decrease.

Why does muscle mass decline with ageing?

These elements may interact as you age to lessen your muscle mass:

  • The natural process of cell regeneration and death
  • Changes in inflammatory factors
  • You could gain more fat than muscle mass.
  • Chronic illnesses may be a factor.
  • As you become older, you’re more likely to become less active.

How can you prevent the weakening of muscles?

To be independent and functioning in old age, maintaining muscle mass is essential. Through exercise and diet, there are various techniques to stop muscle loss and keep your muscle mass.

Here are 10 ways to maintain muscle:

1. Lift weights

We begin to naturally lose muscle mass at a relatively modest rate around the age of thirty. Sarcopenia, the term for this age-related muscle loss, rises after the age of 40 and becomes increasingly noticeable, with a 30 to 50% drop by the age of 80.

There are a variety of causes for this muscle loss, and your individual rate relies on a number of inherited and lifestyle variables. The main causes include a decrease in sex hormones and fewer levels of physical exercise in older people.

By maintaining an active lifestyle, you can stop or at least slow down this natural state of loss. Utilize weights to exercise all of your major muscle groups two to three times each week. If feasible, let two days pass between exercises.

2. Make sure to consume enough protein

As you age, maintaining muscle mass will be easier if you eat healthfully and consume the required quantity of protein for your level of exercise. In order to retain muscle mass as you age, you need to consume up to 1.2 grammes of protein daily for every kilogramme of body weight.

Take your weight in pounds and multiply it by 0.45 to get how much protein you need. To determine your recommended daily protein consumption, multiply that amount by 1.2. (in grams).

Since protein is necessary for tissue development and repair, it is also necessary to maintain and build muscle. High protein consumption is essential for maintaining muscle mass as you age and while you are eating below maintenance calories, according to several studies.

Older people frequently consume inadequate amounts of protein, which increases their risk of developing a protein shortage. In addition, ageing may result in a decreased ability to absorb protein due to changes in gut flora and function. 5

If you struggle to get enough protein, think about boosting your consumption by adding protein powder. According to research, older people can considerably benefit from taking a protein supplement to make sure they get enough to maintain their muscles. Research shows that increasing your protein intake to 60g/day improves results during IVF stimulus. So if you’re getting IVF treatment, this is essential for you. 

3. Consume Adequate Calories

Let’s say you don’t eat (or drink) enough to keep your body weight in balance with the amount of energy you use for daily activities, such as physical exercise. You would then most likely lose bone and muscle. You may maintain your muscle mass by paying attention to the total number of calories you ingest.

Eating enough calories overall is generally more important than eating adequate protein, even if heavy trainees like athletes may require a bit more protein than those stated above. The body needs carbohydrates to provide an anabolic (muscle-building) response. You risk losing muscle if you don’t consume enough.

4. Exercise your muscles

Your training style has an impact on how well your muscles are maintained. As was previously said, weight-bearing exercise is essential. Cardiovascular activity is great for overall health and illness prevention, but it won’t do as much to preserve your muscle mass.

In reality, while the body tries to become lighter and more efficient to fulfil demands, too much endurance training can result in muscle loss. However, you may increase your capacity to keep muscle by incorporating resistance training into your aerobic workouts and vice versa.

A regular strength-training programme increases muscular mass. Aim for two to three sessions of 30 minutes each week. (Always seek medical advice first.) A personal trainer or local community classes are excellent places to start.

5. Consume more omega-3 fatty acids

Salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are also anti-inflammatory and simple to include in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, can increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis since inflammation leads to the breakdown of muscles.

6. Check your levels of vitamin D.

Strengthening muscles is aided by vitamin D’s role in muscle protein synthesis. Vitamin D may be obtained from sunlight, but it takes four times longer for persons over the age of 60 to do so. You can use a vitamin D supplement, but you should always talk to your doctor before beginning a new supplement.

7. Get adequate rest

Sleep is when you rebuild. Your body starts to rebuild and mend itself as a result of hormones like human growth hormone and testosterone. Make sure you get enough sleep because it assists with this process. Additionally, it’s crucial to relax since, if you’re not cautious, mental stress can cause the release of catabolic stress hormones, which further damage your muscles.

Additionally, sleep fosters healthier eating habits and helps you have enough energy for your workouts. Recovery time is also essential for healthy muscle growth and maintenance.

8. Walk

Walking improves blood circulation and mobility. Your body’s reaction to insulin is improved by aerobic exercise, which aids in muscle regeneration. It might be beneficial to take 10-minute walking breaks throughout the day to keep your muscle mass up.

9. Discuss your diet with your doctor or a dietitian. 

Talk up any challenges that make maintaining a healthy diet difficult for you when you talk about your diet. You could lose your sense of taste as you get older, have problems swallowing, feel less hungry, and thirst less. You can identify meals that fit within your restrictions with the assistance of your doctor or nutritionist.

10. Keep your health conditions under check

Make sure you have a sound treatment strategy in place to keep chronic illnesses like diabetes as well-controlled as possible if you suffer from them.

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